Internationally, World Smokefree Day is known as World No Tobacco Day, and is celebrated annually on 31 May. The world also celebrates Stoptober which is used to motivate and challenge smokers to give up for the month of October. In Aotearoa we have a goal to be smoke free by 2025, so the countdown is on and what better day to quit than today on World Smokefree Day.
Becoming Smokefree is not about banning smoking but rather providing incentives and motivation so people will choose not to smoke. This could mean that it will be harder to smoke than to quit. There will be more bans on where you can smoke in public places and more restrictions on how you can access tobacco. Smokers will not be left out on their own, there will be plenty of support such as quit smoking programmes and education to help you beat your addiction.
There is much we can do as a community to get Aotearoa Smokefree, if you are not sure where to begin, the best way to start is with ourselves as role models for our whanàu. So, are you ready to quit?
As we know kicking an addiction is easier said than done, so how do we go about starting?
There are aids such as patches, pills, and vaping or there are smoking cessation groups. Here is a great link where you can find out the pros and cons of each tool.
When someone stops smoking it causes withdrawal including irritability, difficulty concentrating, headaches, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia, anxiety or depressed moods, and increased hunger particularly for sweets.3
If you have cravings, remember they do pass, and each craving you get through brings you one step closer to quitting.
So, remember the 4 Ds:
Delay - Delay acting on the urge to smoke. Don't open a pack or light a cigarette. After a few minutes, the urge to smoke will pass.
Deep breath - Take a long slow breath in and breathe out slowly again. Repeat three times.
Drink water - Sip it slowly, holding it in your mouth a little longer to savour the taste.
Do something else - Take your mind off smoking by taking action – put on some music, go for a walk, ring a friend and keep your hands busy.
We are all well aware of the benefits of stopping smoking, we save money, we get heathier etc. But do you know what actually happens to your body when you stop smoking? It happens quicker than you think.
AFTER 20 MINUTES
Check your pulse rate, it will already be starting to return to normal
AFTER 8 HOURS
Your oxygen level will be returning to normal, and the carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half.
AFTER 48 HOURS
Your body will have flushed out all carbon monoxide. Your lungs will start to clear out mucus, and your senses of taste and smell will have improved.
AFTER 72 HOURS
If you notice that breathing feels easier, it’s because your bronchial tubes have started to relax. Also, your energy will be increasing.
AFTER 2-12 WEEKS
Blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will have improved.
AFTER 3-9 MONTHS
Any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases by up to 10%.
AFTER 1 YEAR
Great news! Your risk of a heart attack will have halved compared to a smoker’s. What’s more, research suggests that people who have quit smoking for a year are happier than those who continue to smoke.
AFTER 10 YEARS
More great news! Your risk of DEATH FROM lung cancer will have halved compared to a smoker’s.
AFTER 15 YEARS
Your risk of heart attack should now be the same as someone who has never smoked. Amazing news!
The sooner you quit smoking, the sooner you'll start noticing changes to your body and health.
Pou Whakaaro has a Smoking Cessation group contact James on 308-8170
one on one
Check out these great free resources below to get you started.